Monday, June 27, 2011

Barefoot Walking: My Feet Agree with the Changes

When I officially started my barefoot walking adventures in April, I wondered if my feet would start to look rough and unattractive with time. I have known some folks who naturally go barefoot a lot and I wasn't sure I wanted my feet to look like their feet. Great news! My feet aren't unattractive. In fact, I find myself looking at my feet a lot and admiring the small changes they are making.

Since I have been wearing my Five Fingers or going completely barefoot on my longs walks, at home, and even when driving, the corns on my toes have calmed down and even seem to be going away. Can this be possible? Yes, it is!

The bottoms of my feet are getting tough. However, that doesn't mean they look dry and unhealthy. I think diet plays a big part in dry feet. I eat a lot of good fats and Omega 3's which may help in keeping my feet from drying out even as they are in the beginning stages of growing a thicker bottom. Also, after washing them, I give them a little massage in coconut oil. (I do of course have to stay away from my border collie Izzy for a while, otherwise she wants to lick all of the coconut oil off my feet, even though I always give her some for waiting patiently while I massage it into my feet.)

My feet are getting strong. I don't know why I didn't expect this consequence of walking barefoot, but it is true. I can noticably tell that my feet are getting stronger and just like when the rest of your body gets stronger from working out, they look more attractive. (My pretty red toe polish helps too of course!)

Although this doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the attractiveness of my feet, I do like listening to my body and I feel that barefoot walking helps me to listen to my body in new ways. When I slip my Five Fingers off during a walk, I notice that I turn my right foot in a bit towards the side of my big toe. The side of that big toe is actually hardening up more so than the rest of my foot. I know I am turning it in because of the two toes on that foot that hurt. I am not sure if it is rheumatoid arthritis related or not since it hurts differently than pain I have experienced in my feet in the past. These two toes tingle and a sharp pain shoots through the toes. It almost feels like the pain is stemming from some inflammation in my ankle, so maybe it is related to RA. I have no idea. The tingling pain started over the winter months when I was wearing boots and clogs. It hasn't improved with going barefoot so I really need to have it checked out. But my point is that by barefoot walking, I am more aware of how my feet are being used and I like that.
I keep finding many advantages to going barefoot besides attractive feet developing and the ability to continue listening to my body in new ways. I also like the freedom of walking out of the house without shoes and socks. I like feeling the grass between my toes and I like walking through water puddles. I like being aware of the temperature of the day under my feet. I like my body being able to connect with the earth through my feet. Barefoot walking just feels right to me and the small changes my feet are making tells me that my feet agree.